Belle & Bandit
Luciana Rodrigues Gravital, 24, a beautiful
Carioca (native from Rio) girl, has been the talk of Paris these
days. Publications like Paris Match, Parisien Libéré
and France Soir have given her ample space. She has previously
been on the cover of the man magazine Lui and performed at several
Emmanuelle films dressing nothing more than
her pretty smile, but her photos and story this time are appearing at the
faits divers, the section reserved by the
French press to the police-beat news. The French have called her Nikita, drawing parallels with the tough-murderer
heroine from the homonymous film.
Luciana was caught by an indiscreet camera when robbing a branch of the Crédit Lyonnais bank downtown Paris
and that was her fall. The thrill of adventure seemed to be the main motivation behind the robberies. Before the
bust, Luciana and her companion Michel Ortiz
had assaulted several cosmetic shops where they first took perfumes
— Channel number 5 seemed to be her favorite — and only at the end would pick up any money left at the cash register.
It didn’t help with the judge that she used a rusty fake gun on her exploits. For the victims it was convincing
enough and she will probably spend the next four years in jail. The producers of Emmanuelle, however, already have an
idea for a movie in which a pornostar becomes a bank robber. And they want Luciana to star in it.
the most notorious mass killings of Brazil: the fusillade against rebellious prisoners from São Paulo’s
Carandiru penitentiary which resulted in the killing of 110 (that’s it, one hundred and ten) inmates, and the night vigilantism
that resulted in the death of eight street kids who slept on the steps of the Candelária church in Rio. The police in both
cases were responsible for the murder.
São Paulo’s Justice Tribunal concluded that the military police acted properly in its effort to quell the
prisoner’s uprising on October 1992. The court was answering to a suit brought by the mother of one of the killed prisoners.
The real culprit of the bloodbath were the prisoners concluded the verdict: “They started the rebellion, destroyed a
pavilion and forced society to defend itself.”
The July ’93 Candelária carnage, however, earned one of its mentors a sentence of 309 years behind bars. It was
more a symbolic act since no one, by law, can stay more than 30 years in a Brazilian prison. The tough punishment for
police officer Marcus Emmanuel came after he volunteered to confess that he had taken part in the kids’ assassination.
Two other accused have also confessed after military police officer
Nelson Cunha started the Confiteor wave. From
the confessions it became clear that the wholesale murder happened as a retaliation after Emmanuel was hit by
stones when trying to detain a group of children selling shoe glue (a product that street kids inhale as drug).
one principle had been sacred until now: only Brazilian inspired stories could be told. The abolition of the rule by the
Rio’s Liga Independente das Escolas de Samba was immediately taken to heart at least by two samba schools which
have announced foreign themes for the next Carnaval. Acadêmicos da Rocinha wants to bring the magic world of
Walt Disney to the avenue and it’s already in touch with Disney personnel. Estácio de Sá already has the name for its
samba enredo (samba plot): Através da Fumaça
(Through Smoke), the story of perfume from old to modern times in
Italy and France. Elmo José dos
Santos, president of traditional Estação Primeira da Mangueira, reacted, “We will
continue rediscovering Brazil. There are plenty of subjects.”
and stability from government. Restrictions and rules to get dollars in Brazil or send them abroad have been a
nightmare. Since May 16, however, the Central Bank has streamlined the process and the only ones yelling bloody murder are
the doleiros, a type of parasite that has prospered trading in dollar in the middle of the bureaucratic jungle.
Until now Brazilians overseas and foreigners in Brazil weren’t able to use their credit cards to withdraw money
from electronic tellers. This should be changing soon. Travelers will also be able to buy dollars for their trips even if
such a trip is more than one year away. And to send money outside the country the limit has been raised from $1000 to
$3000. The sender doesn’t need to show proof that the payment is legitimate as before, but he still has to declare that
such a proof is available. “The government trusts you” is the message, but with an eye wide open.
for prime-timeOnly a few hours apart, Folha de São Paulo
and Editora Abril, two of the most aggressive and largest Brazilian
media conglomerates, launched a still-not-yet-cooked Internet service inspired on American Online. Both services are
still experimental and free during this initial phase. They seemed so enthralled by their American muse that they all
but borrowed AOL’s name and called themselves UOL and BOL. UOL (Universo Online), Folha’s offering, has as
anchors the daily Folha de São Paulo and newsweekly magazine
Isto É. Everybody expected that BOL (Brazil Online)
would have the powerful Veja newsmagazine anchoring the service, instead of starting with the offer of some articles
from economy magazine Exame¸ with excuses for all the bugs still not fixed. To complicate things, a problem on
Embratel — the state monopoly Internet provider — took BOL off the air for several hours. The dust should be settling by
now. Hoping they are still there, check http://www.folha.com.br and http://www.bol.com.br
more as a joke. The number, however, has its serious side and according to it the real, the Brazilian currency, needs
a devaluation fast. Brazil is one of the countries in which the McDonald’s staple costs the most. While you can get a
Big M for $2.36 in the US, the hamburger-cum-tomato will set you back $2.98 in Brazil, a land where the minimum
wage is just above $100 a month. Even in famously expensive Japan, you get your fill of the Mac for a mere $2.70.
O Fim do Mundo (The End of the World), the new
novela (soap opera) of Globo TV network. Gomes is the same soap
scribbler who brought to television such unforgettable pieces as
Roque Santeiro (The Saint Maker), O Bem Amado
(The Well Beloved) and Saramandaia. The plot of the new treat: people get crazy in a quiet cozy backland place when
psychic Joãozinho de Dagmar (interpreted by Paulo Betti), who lives in town with his three wives, starts having visions of
the end of the world. The series is also being used as test for a new format of
novela. Instead of dragging on for months, the drag now will be for a few weeks. The
End of the World’s end will come in 35 chapters.
the Portuguese spoken in Brazil by linguists and literati. Says poet, essayist and translator José Paulo Paes, “Teen talk
is made out of exclamatory dialogues, without fluency, good for someone intent only on reaffirming a group’s
behavior.” As the American without words who fills up pauses with “You knows”, Brazilian teens have just introduced a
new appendix for that empty space. It is the “tipo assim” (type like that). As in, “That girl is
tipo assim a monument.” Willing to be privy to the new patois? Get a load of it:
Abstrair — (to abstract) to forget as in
“Abstrai what I told you”
Animal — (adjective) great
Bad trip — the blues
Demorô — (you took your time) right on
Din-din — money
Do mal — cool
Emplumar — (to plume) become snob
Punk — guy
Quibe — ugly woman
Sinistra — great
Show — great
Se pegar com — to courtship
UFO — (OVNI) pretty girl
Visação — flirt
Cássia Ávilla is that Mineira
(from Minas Gerais) girl who was in the cover of
Vogue and Elle, two sophisticated
and rather innocent fashion magazines. Janaína
Bull, a Carioca (native from Rio), is the youngster with the smile
selling soap and clothes for Mesbla (a Sears-like department store). Anyway that’s the way they were known before
being invited by Duloren to star in another of their memorable though outrageous lingerie commercials. Now Cássia (the
one in white) and Janaína are the girls who in nothing else than a lacy underwear kiss each other in the mouth in a
wedding ceremony inside a church.
The copy shows even a marriage certificate for Renata and Mária de Fátima. Duloren loves polemics and poetic license.